The Easiest Way To Eliminate Competition


It’s pretty simple.

Too simple, really.

The easiest way to eliminate competition is to have none.

Remove yourself from their game. Make new rules. Change the playing field.

When you do something no one else does, you become the instant leader in your category. Everyone else is playing catch up.

So if a new start-up promoted healthy and sustainable Mexican food made with integrity, we would call them Chipotle-like.

When a new tablet computer comes out, we compare it to the iPad.

When a rock band wears make-up, they are KISS copycats.

Stop trying to be more like your competitors, and celebrate what makes you completely unique! That’s the theme of a guest post I wrote for Agency Revolution, a company helping to change the way insurance agencies operate. I’ll be speaking at the Insurance Marketing 10X Bootcamp in Chicago October 25-27.

To read the full guest post, click here.

To order your copy of Brand Like A Rock Star on Kindle or in paperback, click here.

Apple, Chipotle, KISS, Michael Jans 350 Comments

Gratitude Rocks


With a flurry of guitar notes and crashing cymbals, the last song comes to a stop. Twenty two thousand screaming fans are illuminated by powerful blinding white lights, revealing just how massive the arena really is. The lead singer of the band, exhausted after two hours of performing, grabs the microphone one last time.

“Thank you Cleveland!”

And the audience erupts once again.

That rock ‘n’ roll cliche is repeated night after night, city after city, in venues small and large.

Most artists, no matter how big they get, are genuinely thrilled that someone is willing to spend money and time to enjoy their music. And they are usually quite happy to show it.

True Rock Stars aren’t afraid to show their gratitude.

Rock Stars – in business, life, and music – show their honest gratitude.

Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. There are divas who derive their own self-worth from their ability to be jerks and still have people worship them. But in my nearly 30 years in the music business, I can safely say they are the minority (and they are usually the least deserving of such worship!).

Bruce Springsteen can’t say thank you enough when he plays. He takes the time to acknowledge the city he’s in, often putting a local spin or angle on his personal stories.

At the only Canadian stop on his 2011 summer your, Jimmy Buffett went out of his way to play a song by Canadian Gordon Lightfoot… just to say thanks to the country he was visiting.

Despite his star status, Garth Brooks is always genuine when he thanks his fans.

Lady Gaga calls herself “the luckiest girl on earth” because she has fans.

Gratitude. It goes a long way towards building a stronger bond between your business and your customers, or fans in the case of rock stars.

But what you might not realize, is that gratitude goes a long way towards make you stronger and more productive. According to Geoffrey James, gratitude is “the true secret of success”. You can read his piece on gratitude in Thank you, Geoffrey, for sharing those inspiring thoughts.

Thank you, for reading… for picking up Brand Like A Rock Star and for turning the little book I wrote into a marketing and entrepreneurial movement. I promise to never stop being thankful and amazed that someone has invested their time and money in what I have to say.

I am very, very grateful.


Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks, Gordon Lightfoot, Jimmy Buffett, Lady GaGa 1,351 Comments

How To Keep Your Business Rolling Like The Stones

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The Rolling Stones are planning a tour to celebrate 50 years together. They’ve apparently been rehearsing in London, preparing to hit the road again soon.

No doubt that the Stones will sell out everywhere they go, anywhere on the planet.

And unlike most bands, the Stones will do it without a new album to promote.

Here’s an amazing perspective on their career: The Rolling Stones have been together 50 years, but they created all of their legendary music in their first twenty five years together.

They’ve only released four new albums in the past 25 years!

Long ago, the Rolling Stones did something very brave, that few bands were able to do. They recognized that their fans wanted to hear the band’s classics live in concert, so they started to give them exactly that. The Rolling Stones long ago became a nostalgia act. For 25 years now, the band hasn’t been hung up on making new music and trying to stay relevant on charts dominated by auto-tune and boy bands. They’ve been focused on giving their fans what they want.

When they do make new music (their last #1 album was 1994′s Voodoo Lounge), they don’t force feed it to their fans when they go on tour. Instead, their concerts are dominated by the classic Rolling Stones songs that we all know and love.

When Mick or Keith felt the pull of their artistic muse, they did some cool solo side projects. But as a band, they knew better than to focus on new music when their fans were hungry for the classics.

It takes savvy business sense to understand what your fans what from you. And it takes a tremendous amount of guts to deliver what they want, instead of what YOU want.

What you want doesn’t really matter. What you think doesn’t really matter.

If you plan to be successful giving your customers what you want, your money is probably better spent at a casino table.

The only mind that matters is the mind of your customer. Succeed there, and your money will multiply.

Get on stage and make your business rock by picking up the paperback or Kindle version of Brand Like A Rock Star: Lessons From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Make Your Business Rich and Famous.

Follow me on Twitter at @rockstarbrands

Join the discussion on Facebook.

Rolling Stones, Uncategorized 1,199 Comments

What Is Your Noble Profession?

Jimi Hendrix made plenty of money in his too-short life, but he didn’t set his guitars on fire each night because it sold concert tickets or albums.

Last year U2 created the most profitable tour in music history, but profit is not why they did the 360 tour.

Bob Dylan is a millionaire many times over. But that’s not why he sang “Blowin’ In The Wind“.

Nearly every piece of great music was made because of a passion for creating, engaging, entertaining, connecting, and communicating.

Business is no different.

When business is done right, it is driven by a powerful passion and belief held by a person or company. The profits may flow, but they are seldom the mission themselves.

Can you imagine someone calling insurance sales a “noble profession” on par with a doctor?

According to insurance expert Michael Jans of Agency Revolution, it is. In this short video called “The Principle of Belief”, Michael explains how insurance sales, when done right, is all about protecting people. It isn’t about taking their money or selling them things they don’t need. The powerful passion and belief behind rock star insurance agents is a passion and belief that they can help protect people and help put their lives back together in times of tragedy, difficulty, or disaster.

What passionate belief makes your business a noble profession?

The owner of a pool store who passionately wants to bring people together, create lifelong memories, and celebrate summer.

The advertising sales person who passionately wants to help businesses gain more customers and thrive, even in a difficult economy.

The mechanic who passionately wants to help people safely get their families home every evening without any stress.

All of them will, long term, put their short-term cash grabbing competitors out of business.

Because it all comes down to caring, passionately, about your customer’s needs, and building your business around that passion.

Order Brand Like A Rock Star now and start building a better business right away.

Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jans, U2 132 Comments

Don’t Give Away Your Credibility


If Led Zeppelin were to reunite again, there wouldn’t be an opening act.

Who would be worthy?

After all, when you open for Led Zeppelin they are giving you their credibility.

You’re on their stage at their concert. Therefore, you are perceived to be (nearly) as good as they are. You are worthy.

That’s what happens when you advertise in the same place, or at the same time, or in the same manner, as all of your competitors… you give them your hard-earned credibility.

Open up the yellow pages, assuming you still have an old-school phone book. Look under “plumber”. Now, there are probably dozens and dozens of plumbers listed there. Some of them are experienced and highly skilled and full of integrity. Some of them aren’t. But the least experienced and lowest quality plumber is right there next to the most experienced and high quality plumber.

Since they are sharing your stage, the perception is that they are somehow equal to you.

That’s why actors pick and choose their roles based on who else is slated to star in the movie.

That’s why bands carefully select their opening acts and tour partners.

When you advertise where your competitors aren’t, you own the stage.

You own the impact.

You own the credibility.

A Rock Star secret to better advertising: Watch the pack mentality in your industry, and run quickly in the opposite direction.

Rock on.

PS – If you haven’t yet bought your paperback or digital copy of Brand Like A Rock Star, you can order it now for immediate delivery. You’ll explore the core marketing strategies of rock’s legends, and learn to apply them to your business.

PPS - This post is a spin off from an earlier post about the follow-the-leader mentality of real estate advertising. You can read that post here.

Now, the incomparable Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin, Uncategorized 201 Comments

Sing Your Anthem Proudly

On Wednesday, American’s will celebrate the 4th of July. Canadians mark their national holiday on July 1st.

All over North America this week, national anthems will play, and people will stop what they are doing and pay attention.

Anthems are powerful symbols that demand your attention. You remove your hat and you stand tall when you hear them. In the right environment, they can move you to tears.

Songs aren’t. Songs are enjoyable in the moment, but you soon forget them.

This week, as North America celebrates with fireworks, food, friends, and national anthems, think about this…

Is the message your business sends an anthem or a song?

Do you go the song route, marketing your latest sale, time-sensitive gimmick, or – God forbid – your Groupon discount?

Or do you go the anthem route, talking about the problems you solve, the experiences you provide, and the emotions you enhance?

Long term success in branding is built on creating anthems.

Happy 4th!

Happy Canada Day!

Order yourself a copy of the book that can help turn your business’ song into an anthem… Brand Like A Rock Star.

Uncategorized 163 Comments